Phosphorous efficient pastures

Funding:  Commonwealth Government, MLA, Dairy Australia and AWI

Project Duration:  Oct 2016 – April 2020

Amount:  $28,000 (MFS allocation)

Our two sites based at Redcliff and Glenfinnan are a small part of a National Project, jointly funded by the above organisations.
The project research work is being led by CSIRO (Dr Richard Simpson) and NSW DPI (Richard Hayes) staff working alongside eight producer groups in Victoria, NSW and WA.
This project aims to identify more phosphorus (P) efficient legumes and is evaluating alternative legume species, such as Yellow and French (pink) serradellas to see if they can establish and persist in our Monaro soil types and perennial pasture grazing systems. The most relevant issue for Monaro producers which the current work is assessing is whether high-yielding serradella varieties will be persistent enough to justify their use in permanent pastures.

“Regeneration data collected at Redcliff in early June 2018 shows most of the sub clovers are pretty consistent at around 200 plants/m2.
Many of the serradellas are much more dense than this. The lines from Tasmania in particular (Serratas and Yellowtas) were quite consistently high at 2000-3000 plants/m2. In a promising sign for longer term persistence, yellow serradella cultivars such as Yellowtas and Avila displayed evidence of a staggered seedling regeneration with a new cohort of younger seedlings emerging in June to augment the sward of older seedlings which had germinated on earlier rains. This demonstrates a capacity for these cultivars to adapt to the seasonal conditions and make use of rainfall when it is available, with some capacity to withstand false autumn breaks.
Of course, Year 2 regeneration is only part of the story, but lines that re-establish at high densities are more likely to withstand weed incursions, so long as they persist. This trial will be opened up to grazing from here on in, so it will be interesting to see how the serradellas persist… Richard Hayes, NSW DPI

See Milestone Reports opposite for trial results and updates.